A few months ago I received a message on Instagram which sort of stopped me in my tracks-an offer to work with me to create something to help fundraise for Tommy’s in Gabriel’s memory.
I was taken aback. The kindness of someone who I had never met, someone who had read part of my story and had been touched by it to extend a hand of kindness to help keep the memory of my little boy was something which means so much to me.
Over the last few months, as Rebecca (over at Proper Post) and I have planned the design and creation of Gabriel’s Little Button and gift cards, she has become a friend. We talk nearly every day about one thing or another and have spent months making sure that Gabriel’s pin is perfect. I would never have been able to create our little pin by myself; Rebecca is full of knowledge about so many things and has been a support to me in so many ways. She is an amazing lady and her kindness is something which will always stay with me.
Not only does Rebecca have a heart of gold, she is soooo practical, she gets shit done! I admire her so much, she seems to always have a new project on the go and keeps all her plates spinning-whilst I just about am able to keep up with the dirty dishes in my sink. So when she offered to help me with #GabrielsGift and dedicate so much of her time to sorting all the logistics of turning my design into something tangible, I couldn’t thank her enough. (I think I probably punctuated most messages with ‘Thank you’-words just didn’t seem to say how much I appreciate everything she was doing.)
I knew almost straight away that the design for Gabriel’s pin would be something to do with a button. One of the first things I noticed about my little boy was his perfect little nose. It was as cute as a button, the true definition of a button nose.
A button also keeps things close and would be a reminder that my little boy is always close, he is always there, as well as a reminder that, like a button, I will be able to keep things together. I hoped that it could also offer the same sentiments to anyone else who might need it.
I started planning some designs and sent the design which I would like to use over to Rebecca. With the help of Nutmeg and Alro, the design was finalised and sent off to be made.
I then set about creating the backing card for the little pin, using doodles which I often use to fill many of the doodles I create over at Doodle Pop!
Doodle Pop! has been something which has brought me a lot of strength and comfort over the last few months. Having a creative outlet to focus on when things have been difficult has helped me. I have been able to fundraise for different charities and am slowly working towards getting Little Lockets off the ground. To know that every doodle I create helps to support someone else (whether that is a donation to a charity or something which helps to remember a special baby, time or occasions) and all in memory of Gabriel, is such a special thing for me.
When I set about creating the backing card, I wanted to use something which linked to all the doodles which I have created over the last few months.
The design for the backing card went through a few stages before I got it right-Rebecca was very patient with me and spent so long ensuring that it was just right.
And after a bit of tweaking and some Illustrator magic, the final backing card design was sent off to be made.
Early last month, everything came together, the pins arrived the backing cards were ready and Rebecca and her beautiful family pinned each button to it’s card, ready to send me some before it was almost time to launch them on Instagram.
The night before we launched, Rebecca and I were messaging, full of excitement and nerves-hoping that they would be a success and as much money for Tommy’s Baby Charity could be raised and the 100 pins we had made would make their way around the country, helping to keep the memory of my little boy alive.
I couldn’t have imagined the success!
All morning my phone was ‘dinging’ as more orders came in; amazing women on Instagram shared them on their stories and the number of sales just kept going up. By the end of the day, Rebecca and I had to change our listings to pre orders as we just didn’t have enough to fulfil the number of requests for Gabriel’s little pin. By the end of the day, and the realisation of just what had happened became quite overwhelming.
I received so many messages of support throughout the day, messages to say their pins would be worn proudly and my little Gabriel would be thought of. As I wrote the addresses on the envelopes it was incredible to think that they would be travelling all over the country and one overseas to Germany; my little boy’s memory was continuing to grow and whilst his story is never how I imagined or hoped it would be, he does have such an amazing story. One where he touches lives, is thought of by people all over the world and because of him amazing charities are able to offer support to others.
Since the launch of Gabriel’s Little Buttons on April 20th, we have gone on to have twice as many more pins made; it’s incredible to think that hundreds of his pins will be worn around the country and possibly from those pins conversations about my Button will be had. His name will be spoken and slowly the silence which still exists around pregnancy and baby loss will be broken.
I am so incredibly proud of my Gabriel, I am so proud to be the mummy to such a special little boy who is making things happen to help others. From his hundreds of pins, hundreds of pounds have been raised for Tommy’s. This fills my heart with so much pride.
To know that from the kindness of others for my little boy, his memory will live on is incredible and something I never imagined might happen when I first posted about Gabriel’s birth on Instagram.
I can’t wait to see more photos of his Little Button pins pop up as more pins are sent out over the next month-each one makes me smile and is a small part of Gabriel’s story, his gift to others.
Preorders of Gabriel’s Little Button can be made here.